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About Me

Single tired mom of four. Lover of chocolate and coffee - not necessarily in that order. Lover of Jesus, photographer by trade, Photoshop junkie and crime TV watcher.


RSS Hallie Westcott Photography

Cool Links for Photographers

January 7, 2010

There is so much to be gleaned from others that have gone before you, so here are some great links on the web to get you motivated in 2010.

First, Bev Walden’s Blog for her post:  5 things we learned in 2009 that will change 2010 Bev has some great ideas to help motivate & market in 2010.

Then there is the MCP Actions Blog (my favorite blog!) with a post by Shuva Rahim: Blog More, Blog Now, which is what I needed right now.  A little motivation and creative suggestions to get my blogging schedule back on track.

I’m really jazzed about a Creative Techs class: Lighting from A-Z by Roseanne Olson.  The best part is it’s FREE!  You can sign up for the class at Creative Techs, or choose from several other free classes they offer.   So far, I have taken a class in Photoshop and making interactive PDF’s with Adobe Acrobat and InDesign.  Great classes and all for free!

And last, but not least, a blog post at DPS: 5 ways to use your talents to help others. There is really no point in having gift or talent if you are not going to share it with others.  So get on out there!


Organizing in 2010 with OneNote

December 31, 2009

Anyone who knows me will tell you I struggle with organization and because of that, I have always envied those people who are really good at it.   Yeah, you know who you are.

They are organized and well put together in every area of life and able to discuss their ten page, mentally stored to-do list without even breaking a sweat.   Of course, I am way on the other end of the spectrum.  My mind is usually a fractured mess of ideas and tiny fragments of who knows what, which in the past, were either forgotten or lost in the abyss of gray matter.  Such is life.

Until now.

I was browsing through Clickin’ Moms some time ago and came across a post from Amanda at Finn Rose Photography, about organizing with Microsoft OneNote.  And let me tell you…it has changed my life for the better.

For business, I use it to organize my client workflow, client email templates, shooting locations, track my job profit, organize ideas, bits from the web, links, addresses, marketing ideas, to-do’s and so on.  You can even add audio, video and screen clips.  OneNote organizes all your information in a digital workbook format, with tabs that make it easy to find everything.  And if that’s not enough, you can locate your information with tags.

For personal stuff, I use it to create shopping lists, keep track of medical information, recipes and so on.  It even comes with built in templates, to help you get started.  However, I like making my own templates that I can reuse for each occasion.  I have only just begun to realize the potential of OneNote.

So here’s to better organization in 2010!


My Hambone

June 3, 2009

I had all these funny faced photos of Bella and I didn’t want to upload them one by one, so I tried a storyboard action by CoffeeShop and it was super easy to use!  I will definitely be using these again.

WW – Desperate Seeking Color

February 24, 2009

I have been desperately seeking color amidst the gray, lifeless days of winter.  I’m sure there’s beauty out there somewhere, yet it has cleverly eluded me.

I didn’t have the winter blues at this time last year.  Maybe it was because I hadn’t yet photographed every item within arms reach, yet, as of today, I have finally come to the end of things within my dwelling to photograph.  This is actually a blessing, since I thought I had reached that point weeks ago, but alas, this one bit of color was hiding.

Depressing I tell you.

“So just go outside,” you say?

Do you know how cold it is out there?  Did I mention I live in CT and I wear six layers just to walk to the kitchen?  And did I mention static cling has permanently taken up residence in my hair?  One touch from me could short circuit your pacemaker.

Oh yeah and one more thing.   It’s cold and dreary and lifeless out there.  And who wants to take pictures of dirty snow, grey skies and naked trees?  Not me, that’s who.

Now that I’m temporarily done whining, here are a few links that might help your photography.  Winter or otherwise.

Photohowto has some tips on improving your winter photos, if you are someone who likes cold and snow.

There is a video on Scott Kelby’s blog by the talented and brutally honest Zack Arias that is a must see.   If you haven’t checked out Zack’s One Light DVD, get over there now!  You don’t know what you are missing.

Shutter Sisters is hosting the One Word project and giving away a Lensbaby Composer to one fortunate winner.  And last but not least, check out Spoon Graphics for some awesome free textures.

See ya. I’m off to find my electric blanket.

Home Bound after CPR Stamford

October 11, 2008


I’m home after a really fun weekend, which I really needed.  I’m going to try to summarize, so bear with my rambling.

The trip was really wonderful and I met some new friends.  We had a really good time in-between classes and on Friday night, took the Hotel shuttle into downtown Stamford to have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.  As it turned out, not one of us wanted to $17.00 for a quesadilla from the hotel.  And I can’t imagine why?

Stamford is just a short ride on the train into Manhattan, but we were all too tired to make the trip, so we decided to stay in town.   However, I have made a mental note to myself to stay in Stamford next time I wanted to go into the city.   Aside from the room service and any other amenity you may need, the Stamford Hilton’s rooms were quite reasonable.  Just don’t get hungry or thirsty while you are there.

Dinner out was a lot of fun and there was a lot a laughing, which did my spirit good.  Laughter lightens the soul and mine sure needed some lightening after the past week.

Classes were also good, but there was a lot of review for me.  I knew that the conference was geared more towards the beginning photographer; however, there is always more to learn and I was right.

The best classes were taught by Candace Stringham,  Matt Adcock, from Del Sol Photography, (with his beautiful wife assisting, Sol Tamargo) and Cheryl Muhr, who by the way, is a total trip and full of energy.

I knew the trip was a success by what I learned.  I had a lot of technique questions answered, especially in Candace’s class on Writing with Light.

There were a few things I about the weekend that would have changed.  Except for Candace’s class, there was NO opportunity to use our cameras during class.  I would have liked the workshop to be more like a workshop and not a bunch of lectures.  People see by doing and it would have been really cool to have fewer photographers there, with longer time periods to go outside and practice what we learned with some guidance.  Some of the classes seemed more about the photographer and their portfolio, than about technique.

I also would have changed the fact that I had my windshield cracked on the way to the event by a rock that a dump truck kicked up, but I was blessed that it is a very small crack and it didn’t cause more damage, or an accident.  I also would change the fact that every one of my photos from the weekend were erased accidentally.  I have no idea how, but they are gone.  The photos I posted for Thursday and Friday were all taken on my way out of the hotel,  wearing a frown because my photos were gone.

All things aside, I had fun and relaxation.  I was blessed by the whole trip and would definitely do it again, if given the chance.

The photos of the front desk area below, didn’t really come out to good, but I’m posting the shots anyway.  The lights would constantly change color and it was really cool to look at.  Sort of a had to be there moment.

My weekend photo buddies:  Louise, JoAnne, Maureen and Deenie.